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17 May 2008 @ 09:46 pm
342 - Earth's Tree News  
Today for you 34 new articles about earth’s trees! (342nd edition)
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--Oregon: 1) Bush’s latest Spotted Owl scheme released, 2) Old growth climate campaign, 3) Insanities of the last old growth loggers,
--California: 4) How does fire and thinning effect forest carbon absorption? 5) Old trees absorb as much carbon as fifty plantation trees, 6) Treesavers lose some trees, 7) More on shutting down logging plans in Sierra Nevada, 8 ) PL/Maxxam bankruptcy proceedings,
--Illinois: 9) Old man saving trees that lean too far over streams
--Maryland: 10) State’s champion trees still on the list!
--Maine: 11) Grant for “management” of nine town-owned properties in Falmouth
--Canada: 12) Mineral land claim a threat to ½ million sq. Kilometers
--UK: 13) Looking for rare Beetles in equally rare rotting wood, 14) Ancient Tree Hunter to walk 200 miles to find trees, 15) Perthshire Big Tree Country,
--Czechoslovakia: 16) Treesits resist building of US military base
--Sweden: 17) Barren alpine landscape turns green
--Russia: 18) Log export tarrifs raise valueof Sino-Forest stock, 19) Illim Pulp: vast resources & cheap labor, 20) Vegetation now growing in once vast snow-covered areas,
--Sierra Leone: 21) Loggers use poor to explain why they are upset about export ban
--Ghana: 22) Shea nut butter makers
--Costa Rica: 23) Bats to spur reforestation
--Brazil: 24) Celebration of loggers and Ag when Silva resigned, 25) Details of Brazil’s “development” plan,
--Chile: 26) International Rivers pressing Home Depot to take a stand against Dam
--Pakistan: 27) More on the Special Vigilance Team
--Nepal: 28) 1,800 hectares in Muritya lost to timber smugglers and encroachers,
--Vietnam: 29) UK’s Environmental Investigation Agency exposes illegal timber trade
--Australia: 30) Industry-government strategy in a carbon constrained future, 31) ANZ bank pressured to not Fund Gunns Pulp mill, 32) MACQUARIE Bank pressured to not Fund Gunns Pulp mill,
--Tropical Forests: 33) An appalling crisis!
--World-wide: 34) How many sheets of paper in a tree?


Oregon:

1) The spotted owl prefers old-growth habitat, which was eroded by intensive logging through the 1980s and 1990s. Federal agencies characterized their final plan for the spotted owl as stronger and more firmly rooted in science than an early draft that became enveloped in claims of political meddling and manipulation. But the final version released Friday lays out 6.4 million acres of spotted owl "conservation areas" on the west side of the Cascades where forests would be managed to provide for the owls. It does not designate such areas on the drier east side of the range, because they could quickly disappear in wildfires. Instead, it would look for spotted owl habitat to shift across the landscape by thinning some overgrown forests so they are available for owls in case forests they are using are destroyed. Agencies say if everything goes according to plan, the species at the center of battles to save older Northwest forests could finally recover in 30 years at a cost of $489 million. But they also acknowledged that it's doubtful everything will go according to plan and recognized that many wildlife protection and forest improvement projects are already short of funding. While the recovery plan is not a regulatory document, top federal land managers in the region agreed to use it as a guide, said Joan Jewett, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the lead author of the plan. Other key elements of the recovery plan include aggressive control of invading barred owls and thinning forests on the east side of the Cascades. It spells out the latest federal strategy to restore the spotted owl, which keeps declining after more than a decade of protection. Spotted owl numbers are declining in almost all the areas where scientists monitor them and are showing no signs of reversing the trend. Their declines are especially precipitous -- between 40 percent and 60 percent drops in the course of 13 years -- in parts of Washington and the Warm Springs area of Oregon. http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1210994715185180.xml&coll=7

2) The nonprofit group Oregon Wild released a 16-page report titled: "Climate Control: How Northwest Old-Growth Forests Can Help Fight Global Warming." So the answer to the question: What can we do to stop global warming is: Protect our old-growth forests that are the natural warriors, quietly fighting the global warming battle for us! Oregon Wild is also keenly aware of the adverse impacts climate change could have on our natural treasures. From reduced snowpack, to changing habitat, global warming presents a threat to the special places we cherish in Oregon. That's why we teamed up with multiple conservation groups and the Western Environmental Law Center to sue the federal government to allow for more stringent auto emissions standards. This is new territory for us, but global warming could impact so much of Oregon's wildlands, wildlife and wild rivers that we felt compelled to act. http://www.oregonwild.org/oregon_forests/global-warming-and-northwest-forests/global-warming-new
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3) With prices of commodities rocketing upward, it is a great time to be a producer of oil, gold, corn and many other natural resources. Not so for U.S. timber companies, which are experiencing a slump amid a slow housing market and often hostile public. In recent years, environmentalists have continuously battled timber firms, especially those seeking to thin out national forests in dazzlingly verdant states such as Oregon. One of those on the receiving end of such economic and public relations woes is Paul Beck, timber manager of Herbert Lumber company. The company with more than $30 million in annual sales processes "old-growth" trees 100 years old or more in the nexus of American sawmills in Riddle, Oregon. "I want to save the earth. The goal is the same; it's just how we get there," said Beck, whose 1947-founded company specializes in Douglas Fir lumber for door skins, window panes, moldings, paneling and timber-framed houses. "We've done a really poor job of educating people on what we are doing out there," Beck said during a day-long tour of his company's mill and public forests where they have cut. "Very few foresters have a clue about public relations." In his office, Beck keeps a collection of more than 150 company baseball caps, and points to one after another representing a company that went out of business since then. But today's downturn, he says, is even worse. "This is the worst time in the wood products business ever. I'm not talking 10, 20, 50 years, I'm talking ever," he said, adding some of his wood sells for 30 percent less than a just year ago. Still, Beck is optimistic that he can help change public opinion about logging, one pair of ears at a time: "I do almost feel that if I could talk to every person in the United States I could convince them that to take care of these trees, it does involve some harvesting." http://ca.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idCAN1640251420080516

California:

4) The research is intended to examine how controlled burns and changes in forest structure affect fire risk, retention of old-growth trees, insect infestations, wildlife and soils. It involved 12 plots of about 250 acres each in the 10,000-acre Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest in Northern California's Lassen National Forest. The site was selected because stands of old-growth trees can still be found on the experimental forest and research data collected from the site dates back to 1938, one of the oldest records of manipulation of a North American forest. The scientists thinned stands so they either maintained a variety of sizes reminiscent of pre-settlement conditions or created a single canopy layer of even-aged trees characteristic of when loggers harvested the largest trees. They also completed controlled burns in half of each plot. The team found that five years after thinning occurred, tree and stand growth significantly increased, and was even higher in even-aged stands with a single canopy layer. Controlled burns had little effect on the growth of large trees, but killed or weakened some smaller ones. Bark beetles were also more likely to colonize these weakened trees and therefore cause higher tree mortality. The team also discovered a genus and species of a previously unknown ground-dwelling spider. Their research indicated old-growth characteristics intensified fire effects on spider populations because of increased forest debris. Wildlife findings included a general lack of response from birds to thinning and controlled burns when some large trees were retained and burns were of low intensity. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080516094431.htm

5) “Not all trees are the same,” said Michael Goulden, one of two University of California, Irvine, researchers who co-authored the study. “For every big tree you lose, you actually need 50 small trees to offset that amount of carbon.” Before human intervention, forest fires burned undergrowth but had little effect on mature trees. Conventional wisdom says that the greater number of trees in unburned forests would lead to greater carbon storage, but this study, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, says the most important factor in absorption is total biomass, which decreases when fires go unburned. Because of their potential effects on society, it is no longer possible to allow forest fires to take their course, said Sue Exline, spokeswoman for the Sierra National Forest in California. http://www.earthportal.org/news/?p=1146

6) An Appeals Court on Wednesday rejected a case filed by Treesavers in March and lifted a temporary stay order, paving the way for the City to begin removing ficus trees Downtown. City officials hailed the decision and said they will contact work crews to begin an $8.2 million streetscape project that calls for removing or relocating 31 of the 157 ficus trees along 2nd and 4th streets. “I am pleased that the courts have upheld the City’s position and that we may now move forward to enhance these streets and protect public safety,” said City Manager Lamont Ewell. “The City intends to proceed with the removal of 23 trees that are structurally unstable, and implement the other improvements,” Ewell said. In a statement released Wednesday, Treesavers said "environmental and community activists" are "pledging to increase their political and diplomatic efforts to save the threatened Ficus trees. …Santa Monica has an obligation to respect the will of the community, which has been shown through over 8,000 petition signatures," the group wrote. “We are disappointed, but we have in one way or another saved many trees,” said Tom Nitti, the group’s attorney. When the group filed its lawsuit last October, the City had planned to remove or chop down 54 trees. The number was winnowed down to 31 last month. The Second Appellate District Court’s decision caps a headline-grabbing battle between the City and Treesavers, a grassroots group that has staged public demonstrations, packed the City Council chambers and taken the case to court. The decision came one day after Treesavers presented the City with a settlement offer that called for saving 14 of the trees the group says do not pose an imminent danger to public safety and leaving in place the seven trees slated for relocation to other parts of the project area. http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2008/May-2008/05_15_08_Treesaver
s_Loses_Appeal.htm Update: There are fewer ficus trees along the streets of downtown Santa Monica after the city felled 23 of them Friday for a multimillion-dollar streetscape project.The removal capped a months-long battle between the city and members of Santa Monica Treesavers, which filed suit last year over the plan, and whose members had threatened to chain themselves to the trees. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ficus17-2008may17,0,5541713.story

7) The Bush administration's Forest Service said one of its highest priorities was reducing the danger of wildfires that have been ravaging Northwest forests. The agency increased the scope of logging and the size of trees to be cut in the forests, up to a diameter of 30 inches, and said it would use proceeds of the timber sales to pay for removal of brush and small trees that fuel fires. Environmental organizations sued in 2005, saying the plan would damage the habitat of imperiled species, including the northern spotted owl, and could actually increase the dangers to neighboring towns by removing larger trees that are more fire-resistant. The California attorney general's office filed a separate suit. The first legal test came when the Forest Service approved logging in three sites, totaling 12,000 acres, in the Plumas National Forest near Quincy (Plumas County), and announced plans last fall to award contracts to lumber companies for work that was to begin in June. A federal judge in Sacramento refused to intervene in October, citing the importance of fire prevention, but the appeals court ordered an injunction Wednesday. The three-judge panel said the government's environmental review of the plans was flawed because it had failed to consider options besides expanded logging to pay for fuel reduction. "Postponement of the Forest Service plans may increase the danger posed by fires, but the Forest Service and Congress do not appear helpless to find the funds to decrease the dangers," the court said. In a separate opinion, Judge John Noonan compared the funding arrangement to bribery. "The decision-makers are influenced by the monetary reward to their agency, a reward to be paid by the successful bidder," said Noonan, an appointee of former President Ronald Reagan. Environmental advocates praised the ruling. "The court has made it clear that we don't have to choose between community safety and environmental protection. We can have both," said Craig Thomas, director of the conservation group Sierra Forest Legacy, a plaintiff in the suit. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/05/14/BAMH10MC04.DTL

8) ”There's no doubt that if your plan is confirmable, it's going to get confirmed,” Schmidt said to Mendocino Redwood attorney Allan Brilliant. It was unclear by deadline exactly when Schmidt would rule, but he has said he's aware of Palco's financial position. But Schmidt also listened to -- and questioned -- noteholder attorneys trying to convince him that even if Mendocino Redwood's plan seems more attractive, it isn't allowed under bankruptcy law. The Mendocino plan calls for a merging of the timber and lumber operations of Palco, and a reorganization of the timber town of Scotia. It is looking to pay the noteholders $530 million in cash for the land. That plan has been recognized by the court as being the cleanest transition to getting the company operating normally again. It also has won the support of Palco and its parent company Maxxam, unsecured creditors, the state of California, and state regulators and legislators. But bondholders want to hold an auction for the timberlands, which they claim are worth $603 million, based largely on a bid by Texas investor and poker player Andy Beal -- which incidentally expires today. They have held that an auction is the only way to determine the true value of the property. Palco attorney Shelby Jordan said that the noteholders months ago put a $440 million value on the land when it suited them, then later found other experts to cook the books to find “$150 million of trees.” He also pointed out that Beal refused to show up to testify that his offer was for real. Timber baron Red Emerson's Sierra Pacific Industries recently put forward an offer to buy the mill and power plant for $27 million plus $18 million in capital, and sink $70 million into improvements. But Sierra Pacific's offer is contingent on a 15-year log supply agreement that would take all logs with whomever ends up owning the timberlands. That's something Beal Bank previously has been unwilling to consider. Marathon attorney David Neier said that with an uncertain months-long auction that requires additional financing under the noteholders' plan, bondholders could realize far less than they would get under Marathon's plan. He said that Beal's plan is nothing but a liquidation plan. ”It's Mr. Beal's own version of a Texas chainsaw massacre,” Neier said. Throughout the lengthy proceedings, Schmidt has signaled that the value of the timberlands would be key to determining how the case is resolved. He has said that if he determines a value for the claims, it can be forced on other creditors, and that bankruptcy often involves changing the structure of debt. At the same time, Schmidt acknowledged that the support of any one plan -- or its benefits to a community -- could not override the law. http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_9279465


Illinois:

9) Perched atop a 25-foot high bank, the trees look like they could topple into the river at nothing more than a stiff breeze. The bank upstream and downstream of the trees bear decades of erosional scars. Nearly 20 feet of bank -- an estimated 10 tandem truckloads of sand and dirt -- have been swept away by the river. Yet, the trees -- with their root systems clearly exposed -- are still standing, thanks to the innovative efforts of the 77-year-old Vasquez. Thirty years ago, Vasquez and his brother, Mark, devised a simple system to save the trees. They drilled a hole halfway up the trunk, pushed a 3/8 -inch galvanized cable through the hole and clamped it. Using a tractor to pull the trees into a more upright position, Vasquez spooled out enough cable to reach a bigger tree farther from the bank. He fastened the cable the same way he did the leaning tree. Presto! At a cost of about $15 for materials and 45 minutes of hard labor, Vasquez and his brother were able to protect their boats and dock below the tree, and the bank above their clubhouses. "It was a no-brainer," said Leonard Vasquez, who lives in Darmstadt. "Anybody could see the tree was going to fall in the river. You look up and say 'Do I want to save that tree? Yes. How are we going to do it? We have some cable, let's put a cable from here to there.' It's very simple. It's really just common sense." Vasquez' first attempt at bank stabilization came in the spring of 1978. In the spring of 2008, his plan to save trees along the Kaskaskia River is finally expanding.With the help of $5,000 awarded from Prairie State Energy Campus settlement money, Vasquez is seeking interested landowners with bank stabilization problems to sign up for the program. The landowner will need to supply a few laborers. Vasquez will supply the equipment --drills, cable capable of holding 25,000 pounds, clamps and an electric lift -- needed to properly secure the trees. He's already gotten some takers. On Saturday, he is traveling to Bartelso in Clinton County, where a landowner has 30 or so trees that are in danger of falling into the Kaskaskia near Jantzen's Resort. "This idea seems like it's low cost and if it works, fantastic," said Bob Wilkins with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Carlyle Lake. http://www.bnd.com/sports/story/340728.html

Maryland:

10) Maryland's veteran champions, which kept their positions on the national list, are a mockernut hickory in Upper Marlboro; a chestnut oak in Severna Park; a common chokecherry in Owings Mills; a honey locust in Ijamsville; a black mulberry in Westminster; an althea hibiscus in Arnold; a slippery elm in Frederick; a Kentucky coffee tree in Hagerstown; a box elder in Monrovia; a shagbark hickory in Edgewater; an American beech in Lothian; and an American hazelnut in Prince Frederick. Getting to see the state's big trees is not easy, Bennett said. Many are on private property, and while owners are happy to have their trees designated, they aren't always keen on having lots of visitors. So it's best to check before heading out to try to find the trees, Bennett said. The official hunt for champion-size trees began in Maryland in 1925, Bennett said, when Fred Besley, the state's first official forester, decided to develop a system to compare trees from different parts of the state. He devised a three-part system that involved measuring height of the tree, the girth of the trunk and the average crown spread, or the distances among points along the "drip line" of the tree. Maryland's program soon grew to a nationwide competition conducted by the American Forestry Association. The state foresters ran Maryland's program until early this decade when budget cuts led to its elimination. "This was devastating to a lot of us since Maryland had started the program. We didn't want to be the first state to drop it," Bennett said. Now the responsibility for ascertaining the state's biggest trees has fallen to a band of volunteers who tramp through private and public lands across Maryland each year to measure trees that have been locally nominated. Bennett estimated he put 2,500 miles on his car last year as he and others tried to verify the nominees' vital statistics. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/13/AR2008051303516_2.html

Maine:

11) Falmouth has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Maine Forest Service to help the town develop forest management plans for nine town-owned properties totaling 862 acres, according to the town’s open space ombudsman, Bob Shafto. The grant was made under the Maine Forest Service Project Canopy initiative. The nine parcels include the Falmouth town forest, nature preserve and community park. “The goal is to manage these parcels, and additional parcels the town acquires in the coming years, in ways that maximize their economic, wildlife and recreational value to present and future citizens,” Shafto said. He said the first step will be to inventory each site. Maps of the type of trees the forests contain will be created, and then findings shared at a public meeting. Based on the feedback, an overall forest management plan will be developed, including management recommendations for each parcel. These recommendations will address harvesting, wildlife habitat management, endangered species, invasive species and safety issues. Southern Maine Forestry Services in Windham will be responsible for inventorying the forests and developing the individual plans. The second step will be to involve the Falmouth Conservation Corps, a group of town volunteers, in implementing recommendations included in the plan, including building and marking trails, erecting signs, controlling invasive species, and developing educational materials. The work will result in much healthier, more accessible and more sustainable forests in Falmouth, Shafto said. http://news.mainetoday.com/updates/027195.html


Canada:

12) OTTAWA - Mineral land claims are threatening more than half-a-million square kilometres of territory in the boreal forest because of outdated mining laws that have not been updated since the Klondike gold rush, warns a new report to be released today. The report, published by the Canadian Boreal Initiative and the International Boreal Conservation Campaign, provides a detailed analysis of the forest, revealing that mining claims have extended to about 10 per cent of the entire ecosystem. The report says that the area of claims is expanding rapidly and provoking conflicts because of the existing laws which automatically allow prospectors to explore and drill for new minerals as soon as they stake a claim. "As a consequence, when exploration conflicts with aboriginal rights, conservation or other public interests, governments are left with few options but to either allow the activities to proceed or close areas to staking and compensate exploration companies for existing claims," says the report, Mineral Exploration Conflicts in Canada's Boreal Forest. Although a mining company would eventually need to have approval to establish a full mining operation, Larry Innes, executive director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative, said that the legislation desperately needs to be modernized in the context of booming commodity prices and escalating conflicts on staked-out territory when the companies begin exploring and drilling. "This [mining law] is something that dates back to a time before telephones," said Innes. "You see the evidence of the challenges in jurisdictions like Ontario, where explorationists are now bumping up against first nations communities, and they're bumping up against conservation priorities." http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/business/story.html?id=1a0a488d-9795-4f6b-adef-9464c
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UK:

13) Many decades have been known to pass between sightings of certain types of beetles known as saproxylic because they live out of sight within the dead or dying heartwood of ancient trees. Discovering a new location involves having the expertise to spot one of the dwindling number of woodland stretches with potential – then visiting it after gales to check whether boughs newly snapped off and now on the ground are home to these rather special insects. As with the likes of wolves and bears at the extreme opposite end of the food chain, the heyday of such rot-dwelling insects in Britain was in the time of the coast-to-coast unbroken forest that formed after the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. Their decline has been progressing since our ancient ancestors switched from hunter-gathering to agriculture, which began the forest break-up process, and living in permanent settlements that over the subsequent millennia mushroomed into sprawling cities. "Now their final refuges are the veteran trees of the last fragments of the wildwood of long ago, which tend to be in Royal Parks and former hunting forests – although it doesn't have to be a great landscape of ancient timber", said Dr Telfer. "For instance, if anyone living near to Langley Park happens to have an ancient oak in their garden it might well be home to some of these rare and often spectacular beetles." As for the future, there is concern that their surviving habitat is under growing threat because, in this increasingly litigious age, authorities responsible for public open spaces are uneasy about the presence of rotten trees and the possibility visitors being hit by falling timber. "There are places where if a tree shows any sign of rot it is liable to be felled, but it is not impossible to manage this very special habitat alongside public access", added Dr Telfer. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/05/16/eabeatle116.xml

14) An ancient-tree hunter is to walk the entire length of Offa’s Dyke to discover the types of trees that line the Welsh-English border. Rob McBride, a volunteer for the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Hunt, will record as many ancient trees as he can along the remains of the 8th-century embankment. The footpath is about 177 miles long but he expects to walk a bit further so he can wander off-track where he can legally do so to find trees. Formerly a software engineer, he got involved with the Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, in late 2004 after his GP prescribed him “fresh air and exercise” to overcome a difficult period in his life. After volunteering for Shropshire County Council Countryside Service, he was soon introduced to the world of ancient trees. He became voluntary verifier with the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Hunt, a project that aims to involve thousands of people in finding and mapping old trees across the UK. Last year he won the Woodland Trust’s Volunteer of the Year award. http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/countryside-farming-news/farming-news/2008/05/13/offa-s-dyke-tre
k-to-find-ancient-border-trees-91466-20899479/

15) Tall trees, ancient woods, soaring waterfalls and wide views make Perthshire Big Tree Country a superb destination for an active outdoors weekend. In spring, the area is particularly colourful, with sparkling lochs reflecting fresh green foliage, and swaths of bluebells catching the eye. The landowners who really proved the commercial and landscape value of forestry were the “planting” Dukes of Atholl. During the 18th and 19th centuries, they planted some 27million conifers on Atholl estates. The majority of these were larch, which they proved would grow exceedingly well in Perthshire soils and climate. The Dukes’ legacy can be seen across great stretches of Highland Perthshire, from Dunkeld to Blair Atholl. You can wander among many of the trees they planted, for instance at the Hermitage, by Dunkeld, which was one of their woodland pleasure Similarly, the Falls of Bruar have enchanted visitors for more than 200 years. The fourth Duke planted the gorge with trees in response to a poetic plea by Robert Burns, who saw the beauty spot when only bare rock surrounded the waterfalls. Perthshire landowners became particularly keen on planting trees just as the new world was being opened up by exploration. When local lairds heard that new species of enormous size were being discovered in north America, they sponsored tree-hunting expeditions, keen to acquire them for their own policy woodlands. Among those involved in such searches were Archibald Menzies and David Douglas. Menzies grew up near Aberfeldy and worked in the gardens at Castle Menzies, while Douglas came from Scone and did an apprenticeship in the palace gardens. It was only natural, then, that the finds from their explorations were first planted out on Perthshire estates. Scone Palace’s pinetum and Diana’s Grove at Blair Castle are living memorials to the endeavours of these plant hunters. Both contain record-breaking conifers, whose soaring trunks create a cathedral-like atmosphere. http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/616161?UserKey=0

Czechoslovakia:

16) BRADY MILITARY BASE - Peace protesters have taken to the trees at a Czech military site where the US military wants to put up controversial anti-missile radar. For the moment the Czech authorities are turning a wary blind eye to the Greenpeace protesters at the Brdy military base who number between 10 and 20 at any one time - some in trees and some on the ground. Their presence since April 27 is sensitive however, as polls indicate two thirds of Czechs oppose the missile shield that the United States wants to place in the country and neighbouring Poland. The Czech defence ministry believes “the Greenpeace members are not committing a crime but an offence,” and has opted to seek “a non-conflict solution,” spokesman Andrej Cirtek told AFP. The protesters are camped in a forest at what military maps describe as “Hill 718,” around 100 kilometres southwest of Prague. The United States wants the radar shield at Brdy and interceptor missiles in Poland as a guard against the threat of attack from what it calls rogue states, such as Iran. Russia has strongly denounced the project however, as a threat to its own security. At night, camp members sleep in tents or in the trees. During the day they organise the site and seek to avoid the Czech military police. “They are not nasty, they come to check on us regularly, sometimes really early in the morning, they patrol the forest paths and stop anyone else from joining us but allow people to leave,” explained Lenka, a young Slovak, who supervises the camp’s tree dwellers. A man, who gave his name as Tom Tom, is one of the tree protesters. “If the army comes to move those camped on the ground, I will still be able to stay and continue the symbolic action,” said Tom Tom, who said he was a 24-year-old law student from neighbouring Austria. The protesters have erected a gigantic white banner bearing a black target on Hill 718. They have planted a totem pole for peace and constructed a log bridge, which serves as a symbolic meeting place. “We are at a crucial crossroads, we have a choice whether to opt for an arms race or not,” explained the leader of the protest, Jan Freidinger, who fires off emails to Czech politicians with a solar-powered portable computer plugged into Wi-Fi by a tree-mounted antenna. http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=112453

Sweden:

17) The alpine landscape is becoming generally greener and more inviting. Many mountain plants have produced profuse blossoms as well as prodigious amounts of seeds and fruits in the last few years. Plants that were previously limited to the borderline between woods and bare mountain are now rapidly climbing alpine slopes. "The changes are so rapid that plants like fireweed (rose bay) and rowan have even taken root in the gravel up on melting glaciers. Even wood anemones are appearing higher up the mountain," says Leif Kullman. The alpine flora and biodiversity are thus burgeoning dramatically. More and more plants are migrating to the high mountains since the warmer climate is conducive to them, including contorta pine and cembra pine, which are not native to Scandinavia. The distribution of the mountain landscape's various plant communities is in flux. Certain plants, such as mosses and low-growing herbs, are adapted to a short growing period after the snow melts. As the snow thaws earlier and earlier, these plants have been replaced by brush and grass heaths, which has lent the mountain slopes a steppe-like appearance. Mountain fens are drying up, which means that sedge and grass vegetation is growing denser, new species are migrating in, and in some places glorious alpine meadows are appearing. At the highest elevations, formerly the domain of sterile gravel and boulders, fens are occurring. Changes in flora impact the conditions for the mountain fauna. Leif Kullman has observed new bird and butterfly species, such as wrens and admirals, at ever higher elevations. The knowledge generated by the current monitoring system is a precondition for models that describe the development of a possibly warmer future. "The alpine world is evincing truly major changes despite the modest increase in temperature. Present prognoses of a temperature increase of three degrees by 2100 will entail considerably more sweeping changes. We can expect fewer bare mountain areas, even more lush vegetation, and a richer flora," says Leif Kullman. The studies were carried out primarily in Sweden's southern mountain regions in the provinces of Jämtland, Härjedalen, and Dalarna. Data from more than 200 sites have been recorded at various times since 1915. There is no other series of this scope in the world. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080516121650.htm

Russia:

18) ``Domestic log prices will remain robust given China's fibre deficit and limited supply from domestic and nearby foreign markets,'' including Russia, the company said in the statement. Russia has been raising tariffs on exports of raw, or unprocessed, logs to encourage development of forest industries that produce high-value products. Sino-Forest rose 75 cents, or 4.6 percent, to C$16.99 as of 3:59 p.m. in Toronto Stock Exchange trading. The shares have risen 25 percent in the past year. Wood pulp is a primary ingredient in paper, packaging and consumer products such as disposable diapers. Sino-Forest said the increase in wood-fiber sales came after the harvesting of logs from 4,254 hectares (10,512 acres) of integrated plantations. There was no comparable harvest a year earlier. Revenue from wood products fell 57 percent in the first quarter to $24.2 million because of reduced imports of logs from Russia, the company said. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601082&sid=aZm5e2qh8ryw&refer=canada
19) Ilim Pulp continues to pay close attention to sustainable forest management. As a pioneer in the forest certification in Russia, Ilim Pulp is actively involved in the consolidation of efforts and initiatives undertaken by the state authorities, businesses and regional governments to address this issue. Ilim Pulp, Russia's largest forest products company, considers investments in environmental projects as a powerful tool in increasing the company capitalization. In fact, equipment upgrading, implementation of advanced environmentally safe technologies, starting of new or upgrading of existing waste treatment plants and enterprises certification to international environmental safety standards have become a necessary segment of company activity rather than just a tribute to fashion. It is well known that the use of obsolete equipment raises the product cost at Russian enterprises as compared to that at similar foreign ones. Furthermore, lack of due attention to environmental items makes export markets almost inaccessible for the Russian timber industry. As a result, having vast resources and still relatively cheap manpower, many Russian timber companies that ignore the environmental content of their industrial activity are doomed to be "locked out" from the global market processes. At Ilim Pulp, there is a deep understanding that the change in approaches to the environmental responsibility of businesses is primarily related to a new attitude to the role of environmental indicators in the development of the Company's business reputation and investment attractiveness. Declaring its commitment for integration into the worldwide market, the Company accepts the international fair play rules under which environmental indicators are as important as any others. http://www.ilimgroup.com/?p=269&PHPSESSID=1c8e0597bcb6166164c57c1cddef8bfe


20) People frequently say "green" to mean "environmentally friendly." But conifer forests — really big greens — encroaching on Arctic tundra threaten to further accelerate warming in the far North. Temperatures at these high latitudes already are climbing "at about twice the global average," notes F. Stuart Chapin of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. The newest data on the advance of northern, or boreal, forests come from the eastern slopes of Siberia's Ural Mountains. Here, north of the Arctic Circle, relatively flat mats of compressed, frozen plant matter — tundra — are the norm. This ecosystem hosts a cover of reflective snow most of the year, a feature that helps maintain the region's chilly temperatures. Throughout the past century, however, the leading edges of conifer forests have creeped some 20 to 60 meters up the mountains and begun overrunning tundra, scientists report in an upcoming Global Change Biology, now available online. Conifers here now reside where no living tree has grown in some 1,000 years, points out ecologist Frank Hagedorn of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research in Birmensdorf. Ecologists and climatologists are concerned because the emerging forest data suggest that the albedo, or reflectivity, of large regions across the Arctic could change. Most sunlight hitting snow and ice bounces back into space. But convert a white landscape to open sea water or boreal forest, and the surface suddenly becomes a great collector of solar energy. After about 1900, the local Siberian larch began to switch from their creeping, multi-stem form to tall trees with a more upright posture, though sometimes with up to 20 stems, Hagedorn and teams of Russian and Swiss collaborators found. Over time, new trees emerged with a single, upright trunk, at the same time bulking up with more biomass than shrubby, same-age kin. Overall, 70 percent of upright larches are no more than 80 years old. Since 1950, 90 percent of local upright larches have been single-stemmed. This forest's movement into former tundra coincided with a nearly 1 degree Celsius increase in summer temperature and a doubling of winter precipitation. "That's a good cocktail for growth," says arctic plant ecologist Serge Payette of Laval University in Quebec. http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/32207/title/Boreal_forests_shift_north

Sierra Leone:

21) Workers of the Gava Forest Industry Cooperation have expressed frustration about government ban on timber logging and exportation, stating that, the development has greatly hindered the scale of employment nationwide. Jusu Swaray an angry worker said more than one hundred workers have been sacked. "In our villages, there are no jobs except farming.The logging activity has helped us greatly. Each log we fetched from the bush cost Le1,000. Sometimes we fetched up to fifty logs, and we raised Le50,000," she explained. Meanwhile, the angry workers have vowed to stage a strike action against Gava if their five months salaries are not paid. In mid January 2008 the government re-imposed a timber export ban because of what it said was indiscriminate plundering of forests by Chinese and other foreign companies. "They just invaded and started doing what they felt like doing," Forestry Minister Joseph Sam Sesay was quoted by the BBC. He said the ban would remain in effect until a policy was put in place to help local communities benefit from logging. He added: "A lot of them are Chinese, Ivorians, Guineans - we do have a forestry law that outlines how to do business here... this law was not complied with by most of them." "Unfortunately even though the previous government did put a ban on the logging they were not effectively enforcing it and that's why we've put the ban." The reimposition of ban on timber logging came month after newly elected President Ernest Bai Koroma declared the Gola Forest a national park. Forestry ministry official Hassan Mohammed had earlier told Reuters news agency that rapid deforestation in the north of the country had caused serious soil erosion, forcing local communities off the land. http://allafrica.com/stories/200805150809.html

Ghana:

22) For centuries, women across West Africa have picked the green fruit of the shea nut tree – a leafy giant of the bush similar to the walnut tree – and processed it into an unguent with a bewildering multiplicity of traditional uses, from healing the navel of a new-born child to cooking daily stews of yam. In the dark days of the region's civil wars, some guerrilla groups believed a thick application to the skin would deflect bullets. Pounding golfball-sized shea nuts with her comrades in the "Pagsum" or Ideal Woman Shea Butter Producers and Pickers Association, Mrs Anhasan said: "Our butter goes from our village to London and Tokyo. It makes me so proud to think that what we make here goes to the greatest cities in the world." From their production base in the mud-hut village of Sagnarigu and neighbouring communities in the heart of Ghana's sub-Saharan savannah, the women's co-operative churns out orders for their premium handmade shea butter to clients ranging from a US pharmaceuticals company to Britain's Body Shop. Their success is largely due to a dramatic rise in demand in the developed world for what they call pikahali, the vitamin E-rich cream with the appearance of clotted cream and the smell of the savannah that is extracted during a back-breaking, 25-stage, three-day process. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/butter-that-brought-fat-profits-to-the-mud-huts
-of-ghana-829324.html

Costa Rica:

23) Given the enormity of the problem -- millions of hectares of forest being converted for agricultural use every year -- the thought of using bats to spur reforestation efforts might seem a tad preposterous, if not downright silly. And yet, if a new study published online in Conservation Biology is to be believed, setting up artificial roosts in key areas to attract the prodigious seed spreaders could well do the trick -- while avoiding many of the problems commonly associated with more conventional strategies. The problem essentially boils down to one crucial factor: a lack of seeds. Once agricultural land becomes depleted and is subsequently abandoned, a wave of seed inputs is needed to help foster habitat regeneration. However, a lack of suitable roost sites and resources tends to keep most potential seed dispersers at bay. Attracting bats, which pollinate close to 1000 plant species and disperse their seeds widely via excretion, might then help accelerate the process -- if the right incentives are provided. To test this hypothesis, a team of scientists led by the Leibniz Institute's Detlev Kelm built and installed 45 roosts in two Costa Rican habitats -- one in continuous forest and the other on recently abandoned agricultural land a few miles away. At the same time, they also set up traps to collect bat feces as a measure to quantify seed dispersal. Their findings indicate that 10 bat species quickly colonized the roosts, five of which occupied them permanently in both forested and agricultural habitats. As was expected, seed input around the roosts rose dramatically: The researchers calculated that 69 different seed types, mostly early-successional plant species, were transported to the deforested areas. Ramping up early-vegetation succession is necessary for reforestation to occur as it attracts additional seed dispersers that help lay the groundworks for mid- to late-successional plants -- eventually returning the habitat to a climax, or stable end stage. Kelm and his colleagues believe this natural strategy could be widely applied to other degraded habitats. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/05/reforestation-bats.php

Brazil:

24) As soon as Brazil's famed Environment Minister Marina Silva announced her resignation Tuesday, farmers and pro-agriculture politicians started celebrating. Silva had been a passionate and, in some views, stubborn opponent of Brazil's powerful agribusiness industry and had held up hydroelectric products championed by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Then yesterday, Lula appointed Rio de Janeiro state environment secretary Carlos Minc to replace Silva. Minc is known principally for his quick approval of high-profile industrial projects such as a giant petrochemical plant he OK'd in a protected swamp in Rio's Guanabara Bay. Then, also yesterday, Brazil's National Space Research Institute projected that deforestation in the Amazon would grow this year after three straight years of declines. Already, the institute's data showed deforestation spiked the last five months of last year. You can see some of the institute's most recent photos here. http://www.dpi.inpe.br/proarco/bdqueimadas/ - http://washingtonbureau.typepad.com/southamerica/2008/05/brazilian-amazo.html

25) Seen from a small boat emerging from Puraquequara lagoon into the full flow of the Amazon River, this is a world reduced to water, trees and sky. It’s a full three kilometres to the other side and at that distance even the forest giants that tower over the canopy seem reduced in size. Amazonas state - a territory three times the size of France but with a telephone book just a centimetre thick - is 98% pristine rainforest. But it is an environment threatened by powerful forces - like the march of economic development. Former Harvard law professor Roberto Mangabeira Unger, the man charged with implementing Brazil’s new Plan for a Sustainable Amazon (PAS), is under no illusions about the difficulties he faces. “The Amazon is not simply a collection of trees,” Unger, Brazil’s minister for strategic affairs told the BBC. “It’s a group of people: 25 million Brazilians. “If those people lack economic opportunities, the practical consequence will be disorganized economic opportunity, which will hasten the deforestation. “What we must do is develop a regulatory legal and tax regime, ensuring that the forest standing is worth more than the forest cut down.” The PAS plan is a detailed, yet controversial roadmap. Environmentalists have criticized it for focusing more on development, than protecting the environment. Even the appointment of Unger to oversee the plan - rather than the former environment minister and staunch defender of the Amazon, Marina Silva - added to this impression. Ms Silva resigned on 13 May and she criticized what she said was a lack of political support to protect the Amazon among Brazil’s leaders. However, the plan’s supporters say seizing control of development in a structured manner is the best way to safeguard the forest’s future. Among the PAS plan’s initiatives are: 1) Develop the infrastructure of the region with new roads, navigable river routes and more hydroelectric dams; 2) Set up a tax regime benefiting those using sustainable practices; 3) Establish a legal framework for transferring parts of the forest from public to community control; 4) Add 3m hectares to the “officially protected” zone; 5) Seek ways of allowing the international community to help preserve the forest.

Chile:

26) The group, International Rivers based in Berkeley, Calif., is asking Home Depot to pressure two of its Chilean wood suppliers to abandon a controversial dam project in Patagonia. The Chilean region is cherished by environmentalists as one of the world's last great wilderness expanses. But Home Depot believes International Rivers is barking up the wrong tree, so to speak. The disagreement over the Patagonia dams shows that though the Atlanta-based company has come a long way in its environmental evolution, it is not "green-proof" yet. In the late 1990s, Home Depot's image was tarnished when environmentalists staged in-store protests over native forest products being sold in the big-box stores. The company has worked hard to clean up its "green" image by refusing to buy native forest products, hiring an environmental czar and brokering a 2003 agreement between activists and Chilean wood suppliers. Now, activists are asking the company to prove its environmental mettle. They want Home Depot to use its clout to stop the dam project even though it isn't directly related to products sold in stores. Activists often target large companies such as Home Depot to get more attention for their causes, according to an eco-business expert. "They're being made a target not because they're bad but because they're big," said Joel Makower, executive editor of greenbiz.com, a Web site devoted to environmental business practices. http://www.ajc.com/business/content/business/stories/2008/05/16/hdgreen_0518.html

Pakistan:


27) The Secretary to Forest and Wildlife Department, Government of Sindh, Mushtaq Ali Memon, has notified the constitution of Special Vigilance Team to check and take action against unauthorised chopping of trees from state forest lands. The team has been constituted on the directives of Sindh Minister for Forest, Home, and Prisons, Dr Zulfiqar Ali Mirza. Terms of reference of the Special Vigilance Teams are to check and verify unauthorised wood cutting, checking and verifying material coming from the revenue lands, and checking the efficiency and progress of forest check posts meant for controlling wood material. The Special Vigilance Team comprises Najamuddin Vistro, Conservator of Forests as team leader; Habibullah Nizamani, Conservator of Forests; Mohammed Anwar Baloch, Divisional Forest Officer; and Gul Hassan Daudpota, District Forest Officer, Jacobabad, as members, according to notification issued by Forest and Wildlife Department, Government of Sindh. http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=113089


Nepal:

28) Timber smugglers and land encroachers have felled thousands of trees planted in Murtiya and encroached upon 1,800 hectares of land. The Sagarnath Forest Project (SFP) office had planted Sisau, Masala and Tik trees in 2,600 hectares. Nowadays, trees are hard to find in Murtiya, Shankarpur and Soaltee Phant. Landless people have encroached upon these areas. District forest officer (DFO) Shekhar Kumar Yadav says deforestation is rampant in Murtiya. Police and administration should act now to prevent further deforestation, says DFO Yadav. According to Sajanlal Mahato of Ghurkauli VDC 7, people living near Murtiya began felling trees when poll fever was at its peak. Some influential persons of the village are selling and purchasing the forest land, says Mahato. A bigha of deforested land reportedly fetches Rs 20,000. According to secretary of the Federation of Community Forest Users' Group (FCFUG) Uttar Kumar Mainali, "People can be seen cultivating maize and vegetable crops around the SFP area." FCFUG president Sitaram Pokhrel says the deforestation occurred due to carelessness of SFP employees. Awareness should be raised to discourage deforestation, he says, adding that the government should form a committee to put an end to deforestation and encroachment of the forest land. According to chief of the SFP Arun Kumar Jaisawal, "The government is to blame for deforestation because it did not mobilise security personnel to stop deforestation and land encroachment. SFP employees are not behind deforestation and land encroachment." http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullstory.asp?filename=aFanata0va3qzpca4Ra2wa.axamal&folder=aHa
oamW&Name=Home&dtSiteDate=20080516

Vietnam:

29) Vietnam has become a hub for processing Asia's illegally logged timber, much of which is sold in the United States as outdoor furniture, conservationists say. In a report released in March, the U.K.-based nonprofit Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and its Indonesian partner Telapak warned that the illegal timber trade is threatening some of the last intact forests in Southeast Asia, especially in Laos. It is currently legal in the United States to import illegally sourced wood products. But legislation now under consideration in the U.S. Congress would ban imports of wood products derived from illegally harvested timber. EIA estimates that the illegal logging business, which the agency says is orchestrated by cross-border criminal syndicates working with corrupt officials, costs developing countries some 10 billion to 15 billion U.S. dollars a year. A rise in timber prices has prompted some wood-producing countries, such as Indonesia, to clamp down on illegal logging. Other countries, such as China and Vietnam, have taken measures to sharply reduce all logging of their own forests, while importing timber from neighboring countries for their growing timber-processing industries. Around 60 percent of the trade in tropical timber moves between the countries of southern and eastern Asia, according to EIA. "One of the biggest shifts in the timber industry in Asia over the last decade or so has been the emergence of a huge wood-processing industry in China and Vietnam," said Newman. The Mekong region—which includes Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and China—has some of the most valuable and vulnerable tree species sought by the international timber trade, including rosewood, keruing, teak, and yellow balau. Mekong forests are also home to a range of endangered animals, including the clouded leopard, tiger, and Malayan sun bear. Many of the remaining forests in the region have been so heavily logged that they are now of critically low quality. In Laos, for example, only around 10 percent of forests remain commercially viable, according to the report. \ http://www.nationalgeographic.com

Australia:

30) A confidential document from the National Association of Forest Industries now circulating the Prime Minister's Office proposes a joint industry-government strategy for forests and plantations in a carbon constrained future. The association urges tweaks to taxation rules that apply to forestry-managed investment schemes to attract investment in longer, 30-year plantations. It also wants federal and state restrictions on the use of forest waste for biomass electricity production removed, claiming that waste could provide at least 5 per cent of Australia's higher renewable energy targets by 2020. Every sawmill would be carbon positive if it recycled forest waste, which is prohibited under the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, which the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, plans to increase from 5 per cent of electricity generation to 20 per cent by 2020. Forest industries are bidding for a major role in the country's climate change future, claiming forest "sinks" could absorb 20 per cent of the anticipated 60 per cent cut in emissions by 2050 and supporting the development of new pulp mills. Recommitment by state and territory leaders would help industry attract new investment in plantations, possibly leading to new pulp mills in south-western Victoria and Western Australia. The association document names climate change pressure as the new ingredient that could soften previous emotional responses to plantation growth, logging, wood chipping and pulp mills. It says forest-based carbon credits allowable under the Kyoto framework could meet up to 20 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions target of a 60 per cent reduction by 2020. Australia by 2009, it says, should be marketing an Australian plantation industry information memorandum in the northern hemisphere that encourages investment in local carbon "sinks" permitted under Kyoto. http://business.smh.com.au/forestry-industry-greens-up-its-act-20080516-2f31.html

31) ANZ Bank says it is examining whether the Gunns pulp mill proposed for northern Tasmania will destroy high conservation value forests before deciding whether to finance the project. Environment Minister Peter Garrett, his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull and the Tasmanian Government all refused to consider the impact on Tasmania's forests of the mill's appetite for up to four million tonnes of woodchips each year. However, ANZ - Gunns' banker and a proposed financier of the $2 billion project - earlier this month adopted a policy committing it to "avoiding" support for projects that destroy high conservation value forests. Yesterday, ANZ spokeswoman Sherelle Murphy said the bank was assessing the mill, proposed for the Tamar Valley north of Launceston, through the "filter" of its new forest policy. "Every decision goes through the policy filter and is judged according to the principles laid out in there in the policy," she said. "It is the same for Gunns as any other project we decide to look at. Whether that increases or decreases (the chances of granting finance), we will have to wait and see what the outcome is. That's going on at the moment." She said a decision on whether to provide finance for the project was "getting closer". Final federal approval for construction, yet to be granted by Mr Garrett, was "one of" the hurdles to be cleared before a decision was possible. The Wilderness Society and other mill opponents have targeted the ANZ, warning of a backlash if it helps to bank-roll the mill. Yesterday, TWS mill spokesman Paul Oosting said there was no doubt that vast tracts of high conservation value forests in Tasmania's northeast, home to an array of endangered species, would be logged to feed the mill. "Forests supporting threatened species, as listed under Tasmanian and commonwealth legislation, have high conservation value," he said. "Mature and old-growth forests are particularly important for habitat and as such are considered to have high conservation value providing they are not highly degraded or fragmented." http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23700261-20501,00.html

32) MACQUARIE Bank is refusing to comment on speculation it has decided to help finance the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania. Several sources yesterday suggested ANZ Bank had decided not to act as lead financier for the project but that Macquarie had stepped in. Macquarie Bank spokeswoman Kris Neill refused to comment. "We never comment on speculation about any of our transactions," she said. "I'm not confirming or denying." Gunns also refused to comment but has made no secret that ANZ was not its only option in terms of a lead financier for the $2 billion project. Gunns executive chairman John Gay has repeatedly expressed confidence that finance would be secured, including via ANZ. Former Tasmanian premier and Gunns director Robin Gray has also said the company would have no problem finding an alternative should ANZ decline involvement, a claim backed by industry sources. ANZ spokeswoman Sherelle Murphy denied a decision had been made. "Our position hasn't changed and that position is that we are still considering it," she said. The Wilderness Society has been leading a campaign to persuade ANZ not to be involved in the mill, which it claims will consume 200,000ha of native forest in Tasmania. It last night called on Macquarie to come clean. "If Macquarie are involved then they should make that involvement public," said the society's pulp mill campaigner, Paul Oosting. "TWS is writing to all banks in Australia to seek a position on whether or not they are willing to be involved, and to express our concerns about the mill's impact on Tasmania's community, economy and environment. We are keen to find out if Macquarie are involved. We believe that no bank should be getting involved in this project because of the environmental and social impacts." http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23711039-20501,00.html

Tropical Forests:


33) "I'm going to give you my bottom-line message right now, up front, this is a super crisis that we are facing, it's an appalling crisis, it's one of the worst crises since we came out of our caves 10,000 years ago. I'm referring of course to elimination of tropical forests and of their millions of species." Dr. Myers continued, stating that when he first went to school "across the tropics there was a bright rich green band denoting tropical forests" on his atlas. "I put to you that we have lost half of all that green band and unless we start to do a far better job than we have been doing than by the time my children and so on, so on and my grandchildren are in school than they will have atlases than they will see not a bright green band across the tropics but the might have to color those atlases a dirty brown color to show that was once there has now disappeared. And what was once there, it says something super special, it is the most exuberant and colorful, and diverse expression of nature that has ever graced the face of this planet in many millions of years. That is what is at stake here." Dr. Norman Myers is a well-known and renowned British biologist. Currently, an Oxford professor, Myers has had a long history of pointing out large environmental issues before accepted by other scientists, such as the current mass extinction, the pace of tropical deforestation, and perverse subsidies which go against both the environment and the economy. Some of his books include The New Consumers: The Influence of Affluence on the Environment and The Sinking Ark: A New Look at the Problem of Disappearing Species. In looking at the reasons for current deforestation, Myers pointed to four major contributors in his speech. According to his statistics, 5 percent of deforestation was due to cattle ranching, 19 percent to over-heavy logging, 22 percent to the growing sector of palm oil plantations, and 54 percent due to slash-and-burn-farming. The conference where Myers spoke was put on by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The April conference had an estimated 600 participants from over 50 countries, including forestry officials from 33 regional nations. http://news.mongabay.com/2008/0515-hance_myers.html

World Wide:

34) How many sheets of paper come from a single tree? Some Typical Calculations 1) 1 ton of uncoated virgin (non-recycled) printing and office paper uses 24 trees, 2) 1 ton of 100% virgin (non-recycled) newsprint uses 12 trees, 3) A “pallet” of copier paper (20-lb. sheet weight, or 20#) contains 40 cartons and weighs 1 ton. Therefore: 4) 1 carton (10 reams) of 100% virgin copier paper uses 0.6 trees, 5) 1 tree makes 16.67 reams bof copy paper or 8,333.3 sheets, 6) 1 ream (500 sheets) uses 6% of a tree (and those add up quickly!) 7) 1 ton of coated, higher-end virgin magazine paper (used for magazines like National Geographic and many others) uses a little more than 15 trees (15.36). http://www.conservatree.com/learn/EnviroIssues/TreeStats.shtml